One of the tricks of the trade David Murphy uses to compare players the Philadelphia Phillies might be after is to compare statistics of two guys and then unmask them at the end.
It is a useful exercise not only for baseball but for college football. One of the remarkable things about the first week of play this fall is that there are two quarterbacks with almost identical stats and almost exactly the same freshmen and sophomore years who will be playing that week.
One is talked about as being a first-round NFL pick in the 2016 Draft; one is not even in the discussion. A close look at both players indicates that there is nothing to separate them.
By now, you might have figured out one quarterback is Christian Hackenberg and the other is P.J. Walker, but, except for the number of games involved, it is hard to tell.
In many respects, Walker—Player A—was the more productive quarterback as a freshman than Hackenberg was. He had just as many touchdown passes in three less games and two less interceptions. Hackenberg had more yards, but that could easily be explained by his three extra games. Walker’s QB rating was considerably better, 150.8 to 134.8.
The next year, was similar with Hackenberg getting only the slightest of nods, a QB rating of 109.4 to P.J.’s 107.8. Still, in one less game, P.J. had one more touchdown pass than Hackenberg.
Both will admit they had down seasons, but the numbers suggest that there is not much to choose.
To borrow a new NCAA basketball phrase, there is something called the eye test. Because of his ability to escape the rush, I think P.J. is the better college quarterback. Hackenberg is taller and might be the prototype quarterback, but I think P.J. will come out on top 9/5/15.